Entries by a guest blogger

Testimony by Fujimori Toshiki, Hiroshima Survivor

The following post is the statement presented by Hiroshima survivor Fujimori Toshiki to the United Nations on the first day of negotiations for a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination New York, 27 March 2017 Testimony by Fujimori […]

The AI Debate Must Stay Grounded in Reality

The following article was written by Vincent Conitzer and originally posted in Prospect Magazine. Progress in artificial intelligence has been rapid in recent years. Computer programs are dethroning humans in games ranging from Jeopardy to Go to poker. Self-driving cars are appearing on roads. AI is starting to outperform humans in image and speech recognition. […]

Using Machine Learning to Address AI Risk

The following article and talk are by Jessica Taylor and they were originally posted on MIRI. At the EA Global 2016 conference, I gave a talk on “Using Machine Learning to Address AI Risk”: It is plausible that future artificial general intelligence systems will share many qualities in common with present-day machine learning systems. If […]

2300 Scientists from All Fifty States Pen Open Letter to Incoming Trump Administration

The following press release comes from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Unfettered Science Essential to Decision Making; the Science Community Will Be Watching WASHINGTON (November 30, 2016)—More than 2300 scientists from all fifty states, including 22 Nobel Prize recipients, released an open letter urging the Trump administration and Congress to set a high bar for […]

The Historic UN Vote On Banning Nuclear Weapons

By Joe Cirincione History was made at the United Nations today. For the first time in its 71 years, the global body voted to begin negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. Eight nations with nuclear arms (the United States, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, India, Pakistan, and Israel) opposed or abstained from […]

The Federal Government Updates Biotech Regulations

By Wakanene Kamau This summer’s GMO labeling bill and the rise of genetic engineering techniques to combat Zika — the virus linked to microcephaly and Guillain-Barre syndrome — have cast new light on how the government ensures public safety. As researchers and companies scramble to apply the latest advances in synthetic biology, like the gene-editing […]

Top Scientists Call for Obama to Take Nuclear Missiles off Hair-Trigger Alert

The following post was written by Lisbeth Gronlund, co-director of the Global Security Program for the Union of Concerned Scientists. More than 90 prominent US scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates and 90 National Academy of Sciences members, sent a letter to President Obama yesterday urging him to take US land-based nuclear missiles off hair-trigger alert […]

What Google’s TPUs Mean for AI Timing and Safety

The following article was written by Jim Babcock and originally posted on Concept Space Cartography. Last Wednesday, Google announced that AlphaGo was not powered by GPUs as everyone thought, but by Google’s own custom ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits), which they are calling “tensor processing units” (TPUs). We’ve been running TPUs inside our data centers for […]

CRISPR, Gene Drive Technology, and Hope for the Future

The following article was written by John Min and George Church. Imagine for a moment, a world where we are able to perform genetic engineering on such large scales as to effectively engineer nature.  In this world, parasites that only cause misery and suffering would not exist, only minimal pesticides and herbicides would be necessary […]

Passing the Nuclear Baton

The following post was written by Joe Cirincione, President of the Ploughshares Fund, as part of our Huffington Post series on nuclear security. President Obama entered office with a bold vision, determined to end the Cold War thinking that distorted our nuclear posture. He failed. He has a few more moves he could still make […]

Computers Gone Wild: Impact and Implications of Developments in Artificial Intelligence on Society

The following summary was written by Samantha Bates: The second “Computers Gone Wild: Impact and Implications of Developments in Artificial Intelligence on Society” workshop took place on February 19, 2016 at Harvard Law School.  Marin Soljačić, Max Tegmark, Bruce Schneier, and Jonathan Zittrain convened this informal workshop to discuss recent advancements in artificial intelligence research.  […]

The Nuclear Terror Threat and Funding Mismatch

The following article, written by Erica Fein, was originally posted on Huffington Post. What if terrorists in Belgium had employed a crude nuclear or radiological device? Those who have followed news from the attacks know that the premise is not really that far-fetched. The two brothers alleged to have carried out the attacks are also […]

Eliezer Yudkowsky on AlphaGo’s Wins

The following insightful article was written by Eliezer Yudkowsky and originally posted on his Facebook page. (Note from the author about this post: Written after AlphaGo’s Game 2 win, posted as it was winning Game 3, and at least partially invalidated by the way AlphaGo lost Game 4. We may not know for several years […]

AlphaGo and AI Progress

Tomorrow, March 9, DeepMind’s AlphaGo begins its quest to beat the reigning world champion of Go, Lee Se-dol. In anticipation of the event, we’re pleased to feature this excellent overview of the impact of AlphaGo on the AI field, written by Miles Brundage. Don’t forget to tune in to Youtube March 9-15 for the full […]

Dr. David Wright on North Korea’s Satellite

Earlier this month, Dr. David Wright, co-director of the Union of Concerned Scientists Global Security Program, wrote two posts about North Korea’s satellite launch. While North Korea isn’t currently thought to pose an existential risk with their weapons, any time nuclear weapons are involved, the situation has the potential to quickly escalate to something that […]